30 May 2008

Welcome to the 14th Century

From CNN:
The Vatican announced Thursday in a general decree that it will excommunicate anyone who would attempt to ordain a woman as a priest and the woman herself.
The Catholic Church: Just like the Republican Party...open to everyone...so long as your a crusty old white man with a small penis.

Git 'er Done!

Clay Aiken, the 29-year-old asexual "American Idol" runner-up, has diddled his little thingee into a test tube so that his 50-year-old best friend can spawn.

Ok...eewww...I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit!

Fox Traumatic Stress

Jane Clark, a 12-year-veteran of the Fox News Channel, is suing the Fascist propaganda machine for post traumatic stress syndrome. Hmmm...I wonder what caused the diagnosis? Could it be the network's 24/7 pounding of hate and misinformation? How about Sean Hannity's relationship with Lucifer? Or maybe Bitch O'Reilly tickled her in her nether-regions?

Well...no...none of the above.

I'll let her lawyers explain:
[Clark] can no longer go to work after suffering emotional distress due to a continuous and ongoing bedbug problem at work.
I shit you not.

Hey "Bill O" - leave the pets at home, would ya? Shheesh!

Harvey Korman, 1927 - 2008

Harvey Korman, the legendary Emmy Award winning actor best known for his brilliant roles on "The Carol Burnett Show," his star turn in "Blazing Saddles," and as the director of "Mama's Family," died Thursday of complications from the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. He was 81.

Burnett's show remains a true American classic, due in large part to the brilliance of Korman. And so in his honor, I dedicate this week's "End of the Week Levity."

Three brilliant scenes from "The Carol Burnett Show"...

First off, the hilarious gay-innuendo of "A Friendly Business Lunch"



Second, "Charades (Part 1)"



"Charades (Part 2)"



And finally, "Altercation"

All Up In His Junk

From the AP: A homeless woman was arrested in Japan this week and charged with trespassing after sneaking into a man's house and living in his closet - undetected - for a year.

May 28, 2004

So, about that argument the Clinton camp continues to caterwaul over and over again, that she's got the lead in key Electoral College states...well...let's take a look at where thing stood in state-by-state polling at this point in the last presidential election:



Now, just in case the former First Lady forgot how that election actually turned out, let me remind her: John Kerry wound up losing to George Bush 286 to 251 (with one elector casting their ballot for John Edwards). Sen. Clinton should also remember that her husband was running THIRD in national polling at this point in 1992, trailing the first President Bush and Ross Perot with a measly 26% of the vote.

Let's be clear: With such high negatives it is extremely unlikely that Sen. Clinton would be able to muster enough electoral votes to win the White House; and if she did, I have a hunch that victory would be paper thin and without the popular vote.

It's time to for Sen. Clinton to fade into the background. After the Rules Committee to the Democratic Convention issue their ruling on Florida and Michigan on Saturday, and after the last three primaries of the season take place on Tuesday, it will be extremely important for the super-delegates to put Clinton's nomination to bed. Barack Obama is the nominee of the party and efforts by the Clinton camp to continue to fight their losing battle should be ignored out-right in hopes that she will just go away.

First Thing In the Morning

Your Friday news...

-The World Bank offers an immediate $12.2 billion assistance package to countries worst hit by skyrocketing food prices. The bank says 100 million people could be impoverished by the rising cost and scarcer availability of food.

-Ali Larijani, a chief rival to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has been elected speaker of the Iranian Parliament, hinting at a possible political shift in the country.

-Air Force Col. Morris Davis, the former chief prosecutor of military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, said Thursday that he was denied a service medal for criticizing the trial process. The Defense Meritorious Service Medal, a relatively common decoration issued for achievement in a non-combat assignment.

29 May 2008

The Tide Is Turning

From the NY Times:
[New York] Gov. David Paterson has directed all state agencies to begin to revise their policies and regulations to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, like Massachusetts, California and Canada.
Say it with me: Hallelujah!

June 17th

That is the day same-sex marriages can begin in the state of California, according to the state's Office of Vital Records.

On the issue of an amendment to the state constitution, a new Field Poll shows surprising results. 51% of voters are against the amendment, 43% are for it.

I must say, I am a bit shocked to see those numbers. I'm still convinced this will be a huge fight, but today's poll results have me a bit more optimistic than I was.

Great Lakes In Peril

From Reuters:
Global warming will likely drain more water from the Great Lakes and pose added pollution threats to the region's vulnerable ecosystem, environmental groups said in a report issued on Wednesday.
Help stop global warming. Save the planet. Vote Democratic!

The Songs of Summer

The second biggest single of 1982 was THE song of that summer. From his classic album American Fool, here is "Hurt So Good" by John Mellencamp.

Hurts So Good - John Mellencamp

First Thing In the Morning

Your morning news...

-Delegates at a special assembly in Nepal voted 560 to 4 in favor of abolishing the monarchy. The government has told King Gyanendra to vacate his palace in the capital Kathmandu within two weeks, or be forced out.

-Following 10 days of talks, diplomats from over 100 countries have reached an agreement on a treaty that would ban many current designs of cluster bombs. The United States opposed the treaty.

-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, his Republican opponent John McCain, and Sen. Hillary Clinton have signed a rare joint statement, appealing for an end to the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region, calling the violence there "unacceptable," and promising "unstinting resolve" if elected president.

28 May 2008

Mid-Week Brain Break

From last week's "American Idol" finale...George Michael's absolutely stunning version of "Praying For Time"...

Bonjour, Hola, and Goddag!

A hearty shout-out to new readers in:
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Vigo, Spain
and, Copenhagen, Denmark
This little ol' blog is but a microscopic dot in the overall blogosphere, and I appreciate the time you take to read the blatherings of yours truly.

Jim Webb For Vice-President?

The U.S. Senator from Virigina - the guy who defeated the hapless George "Macaca" Allen in 2006 - would be at the top of my list if I were Barack Obama.

(Things really get going at about the 4:25 mark):

No More Forgiveness, Senator

Without comment, Keith Olbermann's Special Comment on Hillary Clinton's remarks regarding Robert Kennedy. Do yourself a favor and take the time to watch this (and pay special attention to what Olbermann says at about the 7:15 mark)...

Homer Simpson's Universe?

Mmmm....doughnuts!

"Two Of A Kind"

Can you tell these two goons apart? Come oooonn!! Can ya?

Impeachment Now

In his new book, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception," former White House press secretary Scott McClellan claims President Bush "veered terribly off course," was not "open and forthright on Iraq," and took a "permanent campaign approach" to governing at the expense of candor and competence.

According to Politico.com, the key points in the book:
• McClellan charges that Bush relied on "propaganda" to sell the war.

• He says the White House press corps was too easy on the administration during the run-up to the war.

• He admits that some of his own assertions from the briefing room podium turned out to be "badly misguided."

• The longtime Bush loyalist also suggests that two top aides held a secret West Wing meeting to get their story straight about the CIA leak case at a time when federal prosecutors were after them — and McClellan was continuing to defend them despite mounting evidence they had not given him all the facts.

• McClellan asserts that the aides — Karl Rove, the President’s senior adviser, and Lewis (Scooter) Libby, the Vice President’s chief of staff — "had at best misled" him about their role in the disclosure of former CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity.
Confirmation, in my eyes, that the President, the Vice-President, and their Fascist minions lied in order go get us into an unnecessary war and outed a CIA operative. They may have only 7 months left in office, but there is absolutely no reason - none - why Congress shouldn't begin impeachment proceedings against these criminals. They've essentially wiped their asses with the Constitution.

(Imagine a minute the reaction of the Republicans in Congress, the folks at Fox News, and the whole bunch of 'em, had a Democratic administration done what these miserable imbeciles have done! Dennis Hastert would have been sworn in as president as early as mid-2003!)

Say it with me: The. Worst. President. Ever.

Then and Now

The Jed Report has put together a slew of quotes from Clinton campaign officials - BILL Clinton, that is - from 1992. The thing to remember while watching this video is that the primary season was much shorter that year. While the Clinton surrogates were saying these things in April of 1992, one should remember that the Iowa caucuses didn't take place until March. This year, they were in early January.

I understand he's her husband, but Bill Clinton is really doing his status as an ex-president a huge disservice...

27 May 2008

Little Miss Chloe

Enjoying the new bedspread and pillow shams we picked up over the weekend.

"Say Goodnight, Hillary - And Go Away"

Michael Goodwin, on Hillary Clinton's mention of Robert Kennedy's assassination as a reason to stay in the current Democratic race:
Sick. Disgusting. And yet revealing. Hillary Clinton is staying in the race in the event some nut kills Barack Obama. We have seen an X-ray of a very dark soul. One consumed by raw ambition to where the possible assassination of an opponent is something to ponder in a strategic way.

Giving voice to such a vile thought is all the more horrible because fears Obama would be killed have been an undercurrent to his astonishing rise.

Clinton has now fed that fear. She needs a very long vacation. And we need one from her.

Say good night, Hillary. And go away.
Some say Clinton's comments were the result of a long campaign; that she's tired and not thinking before she speaks. But the fact of the matter is very simple: She was thinking of murder as the game-changer that has eluded her all spring. She made the RFK reference back in March as well, so I tend to come down on the side of Goodwin's "very dark soul" argument.

That any Democrat still backs Sen. Clinton after such twisted thinking is beyond all comprehension. In fact, had another nominee made such a statement, they would be stepping up to the microphone today to announce the end of their campaign. (I mean, think about the reaction from the Clinton camp if someone like Joe Biden had made a similar statement in correlation to Hillary! Biden would have dropped out over the weekend and then Bill would have punched his lights out.)

It's over, Hillary. Your candidacy is a smoldering train wreck and it's time for you to end the joke that has become your candidacy for president. It's not going to happen and, after this horrendous remark, you can bet your last dollar that Barack Obama has no plans to put you anywhere near his ticket!

For those who missed it, here is the interview in which Clinton makes the RFK reference:

Sydney Pollack, 1934 - 2008

Hollywood legend Sydney Pollack died Monday at his Los Angeles home after a brief battle with cancer. He was 73.

Pollack won the Best Picture and Best Director Academy Awards for 1985's "Out of Africa," and has directed such classics as "Tootsie," "The Electric Horseman," and "The Way We Were."

He produced a slew of movies as well: "Michael Clayton," "The Interpreter," "Cold Mountain," "Bright Lights, Big City" ... the list goes on and on.

Pollack appeared in many of his films, most memorably as attorney Marty Bach in "Michael Clayton," and as Dustin Hoffman's agent in "Tootsie"; and he made guest appearances on countless TV shows.

In fact, many Americans will remember Pollack for his recurring role as Will Truman's father in the long-running sitcom, "Will and Grace."

The Songs of Summer

With the Memorial Day weekend marking the unofficial start of summer, let's start another Songs of Summer series. A few times a week I will highlight some of my favorite tunes from summers past.

Kicking things off this year...a club classic from last summer..."Salmon Dance" by the Chemical Brothers:

Gay Holocaust Monument Unveiled in Berlin

A monument remembering the gays who were captured and murdered by Hitler's Nazi regime is to be unveiled in Berlin today. According to Andy Towle:
The monument consists of a 3.6 meter-high, 1.9 meter-wide pillar containing a small window through which can be seen a one and a half minute film loop of two men kissing, directed by the Danish director Thomas Vinterberg.

First Thing In the Morning

Your morning news...

-Foreign ministers from five countries with Arctic coastal waters are gathering in Greenland to discuss territorial claims to the region. The talks are aimed at blocking a scramble for reserves of oil and gas.

-In response to inquiries from grieving relatives, Chinese officials announced Monday that parents whose only child was killed in the May 12 earthquake would be exempt from the country’s one-child policy.

-"The Class," a French film about life in a tough Paris school, has won the coveted Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Directed by Laurent Cantet, the film uses real students and teachers to chronicle a year in their lives.

-One day after the spacecraft Phoenix landed on Mars, scientists prepared Monday to start their three-month search for signs that life-giving water and chemicals were once abundant on the planet long, long ago.

23 May 2008

End-of-the-Week Levity

One of the funniest movie scenes ever filmed (even if the rest of the movie was only average). Eddie Murphy, playing every character except the kid, truly deserved an Oscar nomination for his work here...

A Team of Rivals

Quote of the Day:
I can tell you this. My goal is to have the best possible government. And that means me winning. So, I'm very practical in my thinking. I'm a practical guy. One of my heroes is Abraham Lincoln. Awhile back, there was a wonderful book written by Doris Kearns Goodwin called "Team of Rivals," in which she talked about how Lincoln basically pulled all the people he'd been running against into his Cabinet. Because whatever personal feelings there were, the issue was, "How can we get the country through this time of crisis?" I think that has to be the approach one takes to the vice president and the Cabinet.
-Sen. Barack Obama, in Boca Raton, Florida, yesterday.

"Team of Rivals" is a superb book, an absolutely fascinating account of the Republican convention in 1860 and the resulting Lincoln presidency. Goodwin argues that the success of that presidency - and of the Civil War that started shortly after the 1860 election - can be traced back to the appointment of his three rivals for the Republican nomination to Lincoln's White House cabinet: William Seward became Secretary of State, Salmon Chase became Secretary of the Treasury, Edward Bates became Attorney General, and Edwin Stanton (who once called Lincoln a "long armed ape") became Secretary of War (the designation at the time for Secretary of Defense).

Talk about a powerhouse cabinet: Joe Biden at State, Bill Richardson at the U.N., Chris Dodd at Commerce, John Edwards as Attorney General, and, yes, even Hillary Clinton...well...somewhere. Then go to the other side of the aisle and throw Colin Powell in as Secretary of Education (sorry Colin, your foreign policy credentials became null and void after you went to the U.N. and did Mr. Bush's bidding on the situtation - or lack thereof - in Iraq) and Chuck Hagel at the Defense Department. Finally, add some non-government types as political advisers - say Steve Clemons, Thomas Friedman, and Andrew Sullivan.

Well...I'm getting way ahead of myself. But as he moves into general election mode, Barack Obama will surely be planning out his government so that it can be in place "on day one" should he win the November election. By putting his Democratic rivals - and a few Republicans - in key posts, a "President Obama" would be taking the first important steps in unraveling the mess left behind by Little Boy George.

McCain on "Ellen"

He couldn't even look her in the eye while trying to explain his position. In contrast, she was classy as hell.

First Thing In the Morning

-3,000 acres are burning between Santa Cruz and Gilroy in California. Firefighters hope to catch a break on Friday in getting it under control.

-South African troops have been deployed for the first time in an effort to stop domestic attacks on foreigners as Zimbabweans flood into the country.

-In another blow to Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Labour Party, special election results in Crewe, England show Conservative Party candidate Edward Timson beating Labour's Tasmin Dunwoody by a healthy margin. The result in Crewe follows a major defeat for Labour for London's mayorality earlier this month.

22 May 2008

America's Diminished Stature

It's criminal, really, how far down the shit-hole the current president has taken this country. He truly is - and will forever be remembered as - the worst president in American history:
The failure of Mr. Bush to fully mobilize the most powerful innovation engine in the world — the U.S. economy — to produce a scalable alternative to oil has helped to fuel the rise of a collection of petro-authoritarian states — from Russia to Venezuela to Iran — that are reshaping global politics in their own image.

If this huge transfer of wealth to the petro-authoritarians continues, power will follow. According to Congressional testimony Wednesday by the energy expert Gal Luft, with oil at $200 a barrel, OPEC could "potentially buy Bank of America in one month worth of production, Apple computers in a week and General Motors in just three days"...

The next president will have to manage these new rising states...while wearing the straightjacket left in the Oval Office by Mr. Bush.
-Thomas Friedman, on the absolutely abysmal failures of the Bush administration in the years since 9/11, and the tremendous challenges the next president faces when they take office in January.

For my money, there is only one candidate who is up to the challenge - one man with the vision needed to change the equation back in America's favor. And that man is Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton's threat to "obliterate" Iran is not the way to regain our international stature, and John McCain's embrace of the President's foreign policy over the last four years should scare every American to their very core.

Portland Elects First Gay Mayor

Buried in the news of Tuesday's presidential primaries was the news that the city of Portland, Oregon elected its first openly gay mayor. Sam Adams won a landslide victory over 12 challengers, 59% to 33% for his closest competitor. Andy Towle reports that Adams' victory makes him the only gay mayor of a top 40 U.S. city.

From the Oregonian:
Adams, 44, won by stressing specifics: He promised to work with school leaders to cut the dropout rate, make Portland a leader in environmentally friendly businesses and use the Portland Streetcar and better planning to spur urban renewal.

10-Point Lead For Obama Over McCain

A new poll from Zogby International, taken before Tuesday's primaries in Kentucky and Oregon, shows Sen. Barack Obama leading Sen. John McCain by 10 points in a hypothetical general election match up:
Obama 47%
McCain 37%
The key to Obama's numbers are the non-affiliated, independent voters, who prefer the Democrat to McCain by 48% to 32%.

Despite her tired arguments that she is the better general election candidate, the poll shows Hillary Clinton performing much more poorly against McCain:
Clinton 41%
McCain 40%
Unlike Obama, the Democratic base is much weaker for Clinton, with 13% of self-described progressives abandoning the former first lady for Ralph Nader's third-party candidacy.

Clinton's team has been harping for weeks now that the super-delegates to the Democratic convention are obligated to vote for the person they think will be the strongest candidate in November. This current poll seems suggest that that person is, far and away, Barack Obama.

McCain's Poor Judgement

Quote of the Day:
While I always appreciate hearing the news from John McCain, he should explain to the American people why almost every single promise and prediction that he has made about Iraq has turned to be catastrophically wrong...I will continue to make the case for a new foreign policy that deploys all elements of American power - including tough, principled and direct diplomacy. It's stunning that in such a lengthy written statement, John McCain could not articulate a single new idea that hasn't been tried - and failed - over the last eight years.
-Sen. Barack Obama, taking on the the Republican presidential nominee from the campaign trail yesterday.

Well, one thing is for sure: Barack Obama is no John Kerry!

First Thing In the Morning

Grab your mornin' cuppa joe and read your news...

-Israel and Syria announced on Wednesday that they were engaged in negotiations for a comprehensive peace treaty through Turkish mediators.

-Burma's rulers will allow UN helicopters to carry supplies to survivors of last month's cyclone. The military rulers there have blocked large-scale international aid since the disaster hit.

-Oil hits $135 a barrel.

-Grappling with ways to handle those record-high fuel prices, American Airlines announced Wednesday that they will start charging passengers $15 for their first checked bag.

21 May 2008

It's Cook!!

In an unexpected landslide, David Cook beat David Archuletta (by 12 million votes!) to become 2008's "American Idol."

Without a doubt, the best contestant won! I look forward to his first CD with much anticipation.

Here is tonight's results segment...

Mid-Week Brain Break

Although I think David Archuletta has the better chance at being named the next "American Idol," I cast my vote last night for David Cook. Both Davids have been consistently good since the start of the season and both have great futures in front of them.

But Cook has the more marketable talent and his music-arranging abilities are superior. From last week's show, here is his take on "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"...

The Popular Vote

The declarations coming from Hillary Clinton's camp that she has won the popular vote come awfully close to being disingenuous. Let's take a look at the national vote tally:
Obama 16,983,621
49.1%

Clinton 16,431,849
47.5%
And Oregon isn't even finished counting their ballots yet, so those vote totals are incomplete.

The Clinton camp argues that you have to include Michigan in those totals. That is rather Bush-esque if you ask me. All candidates agreed that Michigan's primary wouldn't count as punishment for breaking party rules and pushing the election to an earlier date than agreed. Clinton then left her name on the ballot and now that the nomination is slipping away she's all about adding those numbers to her popular vote totals.

For the sake of argument, let's first take a look at the results of the unofficial, unsanctioned primary in Michigan:
Clinton 328,309
55.2%

None of the Above 238,168
44.8%
Now, let's add those totals, along with Florida's (another state who broke the rules as well, but in which all candidates left their name on the ballot) to the overall national vote:
Clinton 17,631,144
47.7%

Obama 17,559,843
47.6%
The results in Michigan's unsanctioned primary showed 45% of the vote going to "none of the above." That's a pretty strong anti-Hillary showing considering the fact that her name was the only one on the ballot.

Now, let's say that only a third of those uncommitted votes were actually votes for Barack Obama (I'm low-balling here; I'm sure that well over a third of those votes would have went to Obama had his name remained on the ballot). That would give him 78,000 additional votes - more than enough to overtake Clinton's 71,000 vote lead if we include Michigan's unofficial, unsanctioned primary in the national numbers.

The Clinton team is clearly trying to shove untruths down America's throat. They think that if they keep lying to the press, hammering the lies over and over and over again, that voters will eventually believe what they say as truth. And after 8 years of such escapades by the Bush folks, I think Americans have about had it with the dishonesty and low-life political games.

"Ready to Believe Again"

The final results in Kentucky:
Clinton 65%
Obama 30%
Edwards 3%
None of the Above 2%
Apparently John Edwards' name was left on the ballot in a state or two.

The results in Oregon (with 88% of the vote counted):
Obama 58%
Clinton 42%
Both states are overwhelming white so the Clinton camp and the media really need to stop harping on the talking point that Obama can't win white votes. His numbers across all demographics in Oregon were the opposite of Clinton's in Kentucky: He won men, he won women; he won all age groups except the over 65ers, and even them he lost by only 2 points; he won college graduates and non-college graduates; he won first time voters, he won long time voters; he won every income bracket except those who make less than $15,000 a year; and he won independents overwhelmingly.

That last point - the independent voters - contrasts the Clinton argument that she is the better general election candidate. She consistently loses the votes of independent, non-affiliated voters in most polling against John McCain. She loses longtime Democratic strongholds like Oregon, Washington State, and Wisconsin in the Electoral College, and despite the blatherings of her campaign staff, she would do more harm than good in the down ballot congressional and gubernatorial races.

That said, Obama is THISCLOSE to wrapping this up. The projected delegate count (elected delegates and announced super-delegates)
(2,026 needed to win nomination at at the convention):
Obama 1,957
Clinton 1,775
Obama is 69 delegate votes away from wrapping this up. But it's not quite over. There a three last contests to go through, and the rules committee to the convention will meet at the end of the month to deal with the delegations from Michigan and Florida. That meeting may result in an increase in the number of delegates needed two win the nomination, but I am confident Obama will still come out on top. The super-delegates are increasingly declaring the support for him.

I don't see how they turn him down. This election is about the future, and Obama's vision is hopeful and strong while Clinton's mere candidacy is stale and sour.

Hope and competence...



...vs. the past



I report, you decide.

First Thing In the Morning

Your Wednesday news...

A deal is reached aimed at ending the political crisis in Lebanon.

European Union unveils a plan aimed at making farmers more responsive to market forces amid rapidly rising food prices.

Jordan Hamilton, White House Chief of Staff and political strategist to President Jimmy Carter, died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer.

After rejecting his initial request, Great Britain will grant asylum to a gay Iranian teenager who faces execution if forced to return to his homeland.

20 May 2008

"Idol" - Battle of the Davids: The Season Finale

Ok...the whole boxer thing through out the show was about as lame as lame gets. Give me a freekin' break! Can you say "testosterone overload?"

Now that that is out the way...on to the final round of "American Idol"...

David Cook
"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
Those gorgeous eyes should be enough to lead him to victory as far as I'm concerned. That said, I think he coasted on this song. He didn't take any chances, playing it right down the middle. But still, I liked it. Let there be no doubt - this man is the true essence of "rock star."

David Archuletta
"Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me"
Good gawd...could they have picked a more predictable song!? He nailed it, of course and proved without a doubt that he deserved to be on that stage tonight. He got a bit pitchy toward the end, but overall really nicely done.

David Cook
"Dream Big"
Good, old-fashioned rock and roll from Mr. Cook. However the results go, this guy has a big career in front of him. He's the more marketable talent and the bigger personality. He sang his ass off.

David Archuletta
"In This Moment"
Sheez! Can you say "schmalzy?" Damn that was a horrid little song. Typical of Archuletta and the girls no doubt loved it. As such, this performance will add to his vote totals tonight.

David Cook
"The World I Know"
Hmmm...Cook has turned in much better performances in past weeks. He's off his game tonight but only by a tad. It forces me to wonder: Is he throwing the contest on purpose? If he comes in second, chances are he wouldn't be tied to a recording contract as stifling as the one winner signs. I'm sure I'm wrong...but I can't stop thinking that maybe...perhaps...

David Archuletta
"Imagine"
I loved it when he did this song earlier in the season and I loved it no less tonight. Corny as all hell, but his voice and that song are an amazing combination.

Who will win tomorrow night? More than likely it will be Archuletta. The show's demographics favor him more than they do Cook. Either way, it is clear that the two best contestants wound up in this finale round. "American Idol" seems to have pulled itself out of the lull it had fallen into the last couple of seasons or so.

Both Davids have extremely bright futures in front of them. They performed better more consistently than any of the season's other contestants. And that is something they should both be proud of...whatever the results show tomorrow night.

Almost There

Although Sen. Clinton has won another substantial primary victory, this time in Kentucky, Sen. Barack Obama is now only 95 delegates away from calling the nomination his own.

With polls in Oregon set to close soon, the Senator from Illinois will be even closer.

Update, 8:00pm: NBC News projects Obama the winner in Oregon's primary.

Senator Kennedy

The great lion of the United States Senate is pretty darn sick. Sen. Ted Kennedy (Democrat-MA) was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor today. The man who has fought the good fight for Americans since the day he took office now has his own battle to wage.

Healing thoughts being sent his way, I'm sure, from all over the country.

Dylan and Timmy

Two sets of very dear friends lost their beloved pets this past weekend. Laurie and Tony lost their pride and joy, Timmy; and Susan and Jeff lost the real patriarch of their household, Dylan.

For both Brent and myself, each will always hold a special place in our hearts. Memories of Timmy-sitting and of Dylan's catnip escapades will forever fill our memories of those two sweet boys.

Our thoughts are with Laurie, Tony, Susan, and Jeff.

Why America Needs Obama

Voting in Kentucky or Oregon today? Has the state of the current Democratic race left you on the fence? Let me try to sway you. Originally posted before the big February 5th "Super-duper Tuesday" contests, you can read my endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama by clicking here.

The Popular Vote

From Patrick Healy of the NY Times:
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is entering the Kentucky and Oregon primaries on Tuesday with one of the most pugnacious political messages of her campaign: That she is ahead in the national popular vote...
Of course, the only way she comes to that conclusion is by including her votes in Michigan. Never mind that all the other candidates removed their names from the ballot in solidarity with the Party's punishment for the state moving their primary up to a date earlier than agreed. Never mind that 45% of the state never the less went to the polls that day and voted for "no one" over Sen. Clinton.

Let's be clear: If the tables were turned and Obama was trying to count votes he received in a state where Clinton's name didn't appear on the ballot, the former First Lady would be caterwauling from here to kingdom come. The votes in Michigan shouldn't count, the delegates from the state should be seated at the convention in half-capacity, and that's the end of it.

So, for the record, here is the national popular vote for the Democrats as of this morning (before Kentucky and Oregon vote):
Obama
16,442,622
49.3%

Clinton
15,736,286
47.2%

Edwards, Biden, Dodd, Richardson, etc. have the remaining 3.5%
For kicks, let's add the votes in Florida, another state that was punished for moving their primary to January, but in which all names remained on the ballot:
Obama
17,018,836
48.5%

Clinton
16,607,272
47.3%

The other candidates split the remaining 4.2%
This argument that she's winning the popular vote is flimsy at best and reeks of desperation, as does her argument that the number of delegates needed to win the nomination is 2,209 rather the 2,025 agreed to in the rule book.

Changing the rules in the middle of the game so you can win? Sounds way too Bush-like for comfort, if you ask me.

"3 In the Mourning"

Heh!

First Thing In the Morning

Ok...I'm trying a new blog segment and we'll see how it works. Essentially it will be a few key news headlines, hand-picked by yours truly, that I think are rather important in the overall scheme of things (you will click on the headline to read each story). In this day and age, when major media outlets spend hours and hours covering everything but news, I'll do what I can to keep you informed about the world around you. In this day and age, being uninformed is not an option.

I will more than likely post these headlines while I sip my morning coffee, and so as such I am naming the segment "First Thing In the Morning," after an old morning news show that used to air on WMAQ-TV (NBC) in Chicago.

And now, your morning news...

11 Iraqi police recruits killed in a bus ambush by Sunni insurgents near the Syrian border.

Venezuela: "U.S. violated our airspace." Tension rising in the region with both the US and Colombia accusing Caracas of financing Colombian rebels.

Police in France, the Netherlands and Germany have arrested 10 people suspected of providing funding to Islamic extremists in Uzbekistan.

"What I'm About to Tell You": More Soviet-style secrecy from the Fascists in the White House.

EPA chief drops his support to protect Californians from auto pollution because Bush said "boo."

"Lay Off My Wife"

Sen. Barack Obama gives the bottom feeders known as the Tennessee Republican Party notice: His wife and his family are off limits...



It's good to see Obama going to toe-to-toe with these assholes. If there are still people out there who tend to think of the Illinois Senator as soft-shoed, then take another look at the clip above. Believe me, he will get all up in the GOP's face!

19 May 2008

Marriage in California: "Equal Respect & Dignity"

The ruling last week by the California State Supreme Court was, without a doubt, a tremendous step forward for those who believe in equal rights under the law. Not special rights...equal rights. While I have never been a true believer in the institution of marriage (I think people should pair up with whomever the please, share property with that person, leave an estate to that person, be able to visit them in the hospital, etc., without any sort of official state backing), I believe more passionately that, under the rule of law, gays and lesbians should be able to marry if they so wish. The court's ruling last week indicates that the tide is turning in that direction.

The opinion, written by Chief Justice Ronald George, cited the court's 1948 decision that reversed the state's ban on interracial marriage. It found that "equal respect and dignity" of marriage is a "basic civil right" that cannot be withheld from same-sex couples.

But the victory lap should include a whole lot of caution. Prior to the Court's ruling, a group of Fascists known as California Marriage Protection delivered a petition to the California Secretary of State that reportedly has enough signatures to get a proposed amendment to the State Constitution put on the November ballot that would nulify the Court's ruling and ban same-sex couples from being able to marry. I am not at all optimistic that the hateful amendment will fail - as much as I would like to have more faith in my fellow Californians, my gut tells me they will vote to write hate into our state's Constitution.

In 2000 the Knight Initiative (named for an ultra-conservative state legislator who turned out to have a gay son), a ballot measure that defined marriage in California as between a man and a woman, passed overwhelmingly (61% to 39%). On the bright side, that was eight years ago, and it was placed on a presidential primary ballot in which the Democratic nominee (Al Gore) had the nomination clinched while the Republicans (George W. Bush and John McCain) were still battling it out. Thus, conservative turnout was high and progressive turnout somewhat low.

That said, while California is notoriously "blue" on the electoral map, a look at the deeper Democratic demographics shows that defeating a state constitutional amendment will require some hard work, lots of sweat, and quite possible a few tears.

The Bay Area I'm not worried about. Parts of Los Angeles will be in our camp as well. And Gov. Schwarzenegger has, to his credit, come out against a constitutional amendment. But, in all honesty, the blue collar folks in the Central Valley, the conservative Democrats up in the Sacramento area, hispanic voters down in San Fernando Valley, and the African-American community in South Central Los Angeles no doubt still harbor some unexplained fear at even the thought of gay marriage.

So, unless the fight against marriage rights is joined in full force, the great state of California will find itself writing hate into its Constitution. And it will remain there for at least a decade.

McCain, the Flip-Flopper

Putting the derailed "Straight Talk Express" into perspective...

Obama vs Grandpa Bush Bitch

George W. Bush and the man who not only kisses his ass but essentially crawls up it, John McCain, tried to take Barack Obama down on the issue of foreign policy last week. Obama's reaction? Essentially, it was "bring it on"...



The current president's foreign policy is absolutely abysmal - perhaps the worst in American history - and John McCain has embraced those policies whole-heartedly these last four years. Decisions this president has made have left America - and Americans - less safe, in dire straits, and in need of a new direction. And Barack Obama has given notice that he will not be painted as weak-kneed and incompetent; that he will, in fact, go toe-to-toe with the Republicans and their failed policies.

Sen. Byrd Endorses Obama

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), the Dean of the Senate and one of the body's last true Constitutional scholars, has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for president.

I'm sure he has his reasons for not doing so until now, but that endorsement would have been nice prior to the state's presidential primary last week. Whether it will help tomorrow with Appalachian voters in Kentucky is questionable.

But either way, the endorsement by Sen. Byrd is a tremendous "get" for the Obama campaign, especially after the state went so overwhelmingly for Senator Clinton.

15 May 2008

California Supreme Court To Rule On Same-Sex Marriage

The California Supreme Court will convene at 10am this morning to hand down their ruling on the legality of the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

Eight Years of Stumbling

Quote of the Day:
For now, Team America is losing on just about every front [in the Middle East]. How come? The short answer is that Iran is smart and ruthless, America is dumb and weak...
-New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman, on the how the next president will more than likely face a cold-war-like scenario with Iran.

Sigh...I'm already on Larry's shit-list for the rants about Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, but this is really gonna push him over the edge. ;-) But here it goes...

In his goal to change the way things are done in D.C., in a much-needed effort to hit the reset button in American global affairs, a "President Obama" would do well to include non-government officials in his cabinet and inner-circle. One person I would put near the top of that list is Tom Friedman. He doesn't have to be Secretary of State or anything, but including him in a small circle of presidential advisers, along with others who hold views opposite of Friedman's (like, say, Chris Dodd), would go a long way toward making Obama's presidency a success and, more importantly, give him the tools to repair America's global image, which has been tarnished beyond repair under Little Boy Bush.

Just thinking out loud; food for thought, so to speak.

"This Advice Mr. Bush: Shut the Hell Up!"

In a passionate and brutal Special Comments segment yesterday, Keith Olbermann blasted President Bush over Iraq, incompetence, lies, and golf. It is posted in two parts totaling about 12 minutes, but please...please...take the time to watch:

Part 1:



Part 2:

14 May 2008

The Fuckhead In the White House

He's such a prick...
I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the Commander-in-Chief playing golf. I feel I owe it to the families to be as - to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.
Actually sir, what you owe the families of those fighting in Iraq is some good old fashioned COMPETENCE.

Among other things.

You fucking jerk.

Edwards Endorses Obama

Former Sen. John Edwards, the 2004 Democratic vice-presidential nominee, and a nominee for the party's presidential nomination this year, endorsed Sen. Barack Obama this afternoon.

Part of me wonders why he didn't endorse earlier, but I'll chalk it up to him not really knowning who to support. The TV talking heads are wondering what sort of deal may have been struck between the two men: Vice-President (I don't think so since he's been in that slot already, but who knows), Attorney General (imagine...a competent AG who has actually read the Constitution), Secretary of Labor?

Time will tell, but in the mean time this is a HUGE "get" for the Obama campaign.

Back to Seattle

I flew back up late this morning and am ready to re-start the project that had me up here in the first place. Posting may get light every now and then, so please bare with me.

Without Garfield

Ok...things were getting a bit too serious so let's lighten them up a bit. How about another "Garfield Minus Garfield" strip? For those of you who missed my first post about it in March, this hilarious website removes the infamous cat from his own comic strip, leaving only the sad and hapless Jon Arbuckle. As the site's header says:
...the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life.
The result is absolutely brilliant...

Mid-Week Brain Break

"Soul Train" funk, circa 1975...

The Inability to Admit Defeat

Quote of the Week:
[Hillary] she soldiers on, undaunted, because real women “don’t give up in difficult situations.”

I suppose you can call all this “feminism.” But, as my husband pointed out this morning, if feminism is the inability to concede error or defeat — even in light of irrefutable, empirical evidence and in the face of spiraling support and tanking morale, George Bush must be the feminist icon of the ages.
-Dahlia Lithwick, over at Slate, on the stubbornness of Hillary Clinton.

That's been one of my main arguments against Sen. Clinton. The inability to admit mistakes or concede defeat by the current president has put American in an awful bind. We don't need four more years of it.

Huge Endorsements For Obama

From the Wall Street Journal:
Three former chairmen of the Securities and Exchange Commission will publicly endorse Democratic Sen. Barack Obama's bid for the presidency Wednesday, including one who served under President Bush.

William Donaldson, Arthur Levitt, and David Ruder will join former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker in endorsing Sen. Obama.

236 - 199

With yesterday's huge win in Mississippi, the Democrats now have 236 seats in the House of Representatives to the Republicans' 199. Since the Republican route of 1994 the GOP have not held more than 230 seats, and for the first time since then they hold under 200.

Say it with me: ominous.

The Asshole, McAuliffe

Forget that his voice is about as shrill as Hillary Clinton's (nails on a chalkboard) and that he's a complete and utter asshole (and Chris Matthews is a jerk in this clip too), but Terry McAuliffe's argument in this clip, comparing this year's race to the Carter-Kennedy contest of 1980 and to the Mondale-Hart contest in 1984, leaves no doubt in my mind that Sen. Clinton's motives from this point out are not sound. She simply wants to take this to the convention and pick a fight there, and she doesn't care what it does to the party's chances in November.

Memo to Hillary and Terry: Stop making the 1980 and 1984 comparisons. The Democrats lost those to elections in landslides!

13 May 2008

Retraction

In the heat of the moment (hey...she does that to me), I posted some really harsh language in the "Kamikaze" post below. It's been removed and my apologies go out to my readers, Sen. Clinton's supporters (Hi Larry!), and to Sen. Clinton.

The kamikaze argument still holds, but the harsh language has been removed.

In Nebraska

The ever-handsome Scott Kleeb won the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate race in Nebraska. He'll face Republican Mike Johanns in November for the seat being vacated by Chuck Hagel.

In Mississippi

Democrat Travis Childers has won a special election for an empty House seat in Mississippi tonight, in a district that is about as Republican as they come.

The Republicans have got to be shitting their pants!

AmericaBlog (Reprise)

I was taking another look at John Aravosis' comments at AmericaBlog tonight and some key points in his final paragraph jumped out at me.

To my family, friends, and readers who wonder why I've become so disenchanted with the Clintons, John nails it:
I defended her. I defended her husband. And now I'm actually wondering if the Republicans weren't right about them. That's how bad she has damaged her reputation. People who actually liked you, who actually helped you, who actually defended you, LOATHE you now. Call me a Clinton-hater all you like, but people like me were the ones who had your back [during the 90s]. And we never will again.
Amen, Brother John...AMEN!

Hillary's Kamikaze Mission

As expected Sen. Hillary Clinton handed Sen. Barack Obama his ass tonight in West Virginia. And then some:
Clinton 67%
Obama 26%
Edwards 7%
This result was expected. Race played a huge role in the state and the conservative Democrats handed Clinton a victory that means absolutely nothing. Despite tonight's huge win, and despite next week's expected win in Kentucky, there is still no path to the nomination for her, save a super-delegate coup at the convention.

And so, what was her speech all about tonight? Forget about going out with a bang or bowing out gracefully. When Clinton said the number of delegates needed to win the nomination is 2,209, it became more obvious than ever that she is playing the Republican game. She knows damn well...and she fucking AGREED TO IT...that this year the Democratic rules say you need 2,025. Mark my words: She intends to take this all the way to the convention.

John Aravosis at AmericaBlog:
"Go Away You Horrible Human Being"

IT'S NOT CLOSE. YOU FREAKING LOST THE NOMINATION, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?

Good God. What is wrong with her? The Clintons and their campaign staff don't give a damn that they are now hurting our electoral chances in the fall against McCain and against the Republicans in Congress. Their campaign isn't happening in some vacuum, and they know it. Our candidates can't fundraise because of her. Obama can't focus on McCain because of her. Obama is wasting money on HER, rather than spending it on McCain, because of her. EMILY's List, and AFSCME, and the American Federation of Teachers and others are wasting their members' money on her now-failed race - money that they could be spending, should be spending, on other real races, races that haven't already lost. She can't win, the math says she lost the nomination, but she doesn't give a damn. She's going to stay in the race like some spoiled hateful egotistical brat.

Why is the media even covering her? The only stories that should be written about Hillary Clinton is how much damage she's causing our party. How she's hurting fundraising at the DNC - they even admitted it, they're not raising the money they need to fight John McCain because of this woman. Why don't you write some stories about how she is hurting our candidates who can't fundraise because of her? How she has forced EMILY's List and AFSCME and the AFT to waste their money because of her. How she has caused a civil war in the Netroots. Five months ago we all felt that we had 3 great candidates. Now, far too many of us loathe Hillary Clinton, and she has done her racist best to ensure that her supporters can't stand Barack Obama either.

The Clintons don't give a damn about our party. Their party, their church, is themselves. To hell with everyone else. I actually liked Hillary up until a few months ago. Other bloggers used to tell me that Joe and I were too nice to Hillary. People just assumed that we were endorsing her. Now I actually loathe her. She makes me yell at the TV like she's George Bush, and no one other than George Bush makes me yell at the TV - until now. I actually can't stand her or her husband any more. I defended her. I defended her husband. And now I'm actually wondering if the Republicans weren't right about them. That's how bad she has damaged her reputation. People who actually liked you, who actually helped you, who actually defended you, LOATHE you now. Call me a Clinton-hater all you like, but people like me were the ones who had your back. And we never will again.

Let me close with what Mike Huckabee just said on MSNBC:
"The happiest person in America tonight is John McCain."
I was going to start to tone down the rhetoric against Sen. Clinton on this blog. But forget that! She is actually on a kamikaze mission...I'm sure of it! If she can't get her way she is going to tear apart the Democratic Party.

She's no better than Karl Rove and the Republicans.

Obama Leads McCain By 7 Points

With the Democratic nomination all but his, Sen. Barack Obama now leads Sen. John McCain by a 7-point margin in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll:
Obama 51%
McCain 44%

Obamacans

Here is the winner of MoveOn.org's recent "Obama in 30 Seconds" ad contest:

Eye Candy

Actor Sean Harris, getting wet for the Everyman Campaign Against Male Cancer...

12 May 2008

SNL and Hillary Clinton

They go in for the kill...



I found this clip over at Towleroad, where a reader commented:
The viciousness of Hillary put-downs is deeply troubling.

And saddening.

The Obama victory is diminished by the nastiness of all this sort of thing.

And American discourse is diminished as well.
Sigh.

And so I responded:
Hillary brought this on herself. I used to admire her (and Bill) and was one of their most passionate supporters and strongest defenders; and think Bill's presidency was the best of the last three decades. But this campaign has shown them to be absolutely Karl-Rovian in their campaign tactics. Sure, Obama had to fight hard in order to stay in the race, but he never retreated to the racist, homophobic, Dixiecrat tactics that the Clintons did.

If anyone diminished American discourse, it was Sen. Clinton, her husband, and the goons in her campaign.

Self-Important TelePrompter Readers

It seems Bill O'Reilly was a Grade-A asshole as far back as when he was reading the telemprompter for the crappy little "Inside Edition." Watch this "professional broadcast journalist" get his panties in a wad over the fact that he is unable to say "goodnight" without an assist from the teleprompter.

Update: YouTube pulled the original clip, but uber-O'Reilly fan Keith Olbermann aired it on "Countdown" last night and thus I've re-embedded it. Olbermann's introductory commentary is priceless.

Update 2: YouTube has pulled the Olbermann clip. Here is another one...



Reminds me of another self-important diva, this one of NBC News circa the early 80s...



...who quickly fell into on-the-set substance abuse and a tragic end...

Manic Monday Levity

Hilarious skit from this weekend's "Saturday Night Live." (Well...hilarious for those of you born before 1973.)

11 May 2008

"Call Your Mother"

One more post for Mothers Day...an excellent non-foreign affairs essay from NY Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas L. Friedman:
"Call Your Mother"
by Thomas L. Friedman
New York Times
May 11, 2008

The ad popped up in my e-mail the way it always has: “1-800-Flowers: Mother’s Day Madness — 30 Tulips + FREE vase for just $39.99!”

I almost clicked on it, forgetting for a moment that those services would not be needed this year. My mother, Margaret Friedman, died last month at the age of 89, and so this is my first Mother’s Day without a mom.

As columnists, we appear before you twice a week on these pages as simple bylines, but, yes, even columnists have mothers. And in my case, much of the outlook that infuses my own writings was bred into me from my mom. So, for once in 13 years, I’d like to share a little bit about her.

My mom was gripped by dementia for much of the last decade, but she never lost the generous “Minnesota nice” demeanor that characterized her in her better days. As my childhood friend Brad Lehrman said to me at her funeral: “She put the mensch in dementia.”

My mom’s life spanned an incredible period. She was born in 1918, just at the close of World War I. She grew up in the Depression, enlisted in the Navy after Pearl Harbor, served her country in World War II, bought our first house with a G.I. loan and lived long enough to play bridge on the Internet with someone in Siberia.

For most of my childhood, my mom appeared to be a typical suburban housewife of her generation, although I knew she was anything but typical. She sewed many of my sisters’ clothes, including both of their wedding dresses, and boy’s suits for me. And on the side, she won several national bridge tournaments.

My mom left two indelible marks on me. The first was to never settle for the cards you’re dealt. My dad died suddenly when I was 19. My mom worked for a couple of years. But in 1975, I got a scholarship to go to graduate school in Britain and my mom surprised us all one day by announcing that she was going, too. I called it the “Jewish Mother Junior Year Abroad Program.”

Most of her friends were shocked that she wasn’t just going to play widow. Instead, she sold our house in little St. Louis Park, Minn., and moved to London. But what was most amazing to watch was how she used her world-class bridge skills to build new friendships, including with one couple who flew her to Paris for a bridge game. Yes, our little Margie off to Paris to play bridge. She even came to see me in Beirut once, during the civil war — at age 62.

The picture of her in Beirut makes me think back in amazement at what my mom might have done had she had the money to finish college and pursue her dreams — the way she encouraged me to pursue mine, even when they meant I’d be far away in some crazy place and our only communications would be through my byline. It’s so easy to overlook — your mom had dreams, too.

My mom’s other big influence on me you can read between the lines of virtually every column — and that is a sense of optimism. She was the most uncynical person in the world. I don’t recall her ever uttering a word of cynicism. She was not na├»ve. She had taken her knocks. But every time life knocked her down, she got up, dusted herself off and kept on marching forward, motivated by the saying that pessimists are usually right, optimists are usually wrong, but most great changes were made by optimists.

Six years ago, I was in Israel at a dinner with the editor of the Haaretz newspaper, which publishes my column in Hebrew. I asked the editor why the newspaper ran my column, and he joked: “Tom, you’re the only optimist we have.” An Israeli general, Uzi Dayan, was seated next to me and as we walked to the table, he said: “Tom, I know why you’re an optimist. It’s because you’re short and you can only see that part of the glass that’s half full.”

Well, the truth is, I am not that short. But my mom was. And she, indeed, could only see that part of the glass that was half full. Read me, read my mom.

Whenever I’ve had the honor of giving a college graduation speech, I always try to end it with this story about the legendary University of Alabama football coach, Bear Bryant. Late in his career, after his mother had died, South Central Bell Telephone Company asked Bear Bryant to do a TV commercial. As best I can piece together, the commercial was supposed to be very simple — just a little music and Coach Bryant saying in his tough voice: “Have you called your mama today?”

On the day of the filming, though, he decided to ad-lib something. He reportedly looked into the camera and said: “Have you called your mama today? I sure wish I could call mine.” That was how the commercial ran, and it got a huge response from audiences.

So on this Mother’s Day, if you take one thing away from this column, take this: Call your mother.

I sure wish I could call mine.

Mothers Day Levity

Heh!

09 May 2008

End-of-the-Week Levity

"Cats For Dummies"

A Banner Year?

By way of Marc Ambinder, here are the key data points of a memo released by the Democratic Party yesterday. The memo argues that the party could be in for a banner year. (COULD...remember...this is the DEMOCRATIC Party...well known for turning sure victory into a narrow loss!):
TURNOUT: Increase in voter turnout was high in every state in the nation. The lowest increase? Hillary Clinton's former home state of Arkansas, which saw an 18% increase in Democratic voter turnout. The largest? Kansas, home state to Barack Obama's mother and one of the reddest states in the union, saw their turnout increase by two-THOUSAND percent!

CONTRASTS: Republican turnout almost everywhere either stagnated or actually decreased.

YOUNG VOTERS: Turnout among the under 30s tripled or quadrupled almost everywhere. In Massachusetts young voter turnout shot up by 100%.

INDEPENDENTS: The percentage of independents voting in the Democratic primaries increased.

SCARY FACTS FOR REPUBLICANS: Per the DNC Memo, "In fact, in seven counties in Ohio — Putnam, Brown, Shelby, Belmont, Warren, Delaware, and Clarmont — the vote totals for our two Democratic candidates in the 2008 primary exceeded the votes for John Kerry in the general election in each of those counties."

REGISTRATION: In New Hampshire, 75,000 folks registered as Democrats on Election Day alone, exceeding the Democratic registration shift during the entire election cycle in 2000.
A look at a few recent Electoral College polls show Barack Obama competitve in long-time Republican states like Virginia and North Dakota, not to mention parts of Nebraska. I have a hunch, if all goes well, pundits and politicians will be a bit surprised at the final electoral map in November.

Hillary Dearest

Kevin, at Citizen Crain, telling the gay community that no tears should be shed over Hillary Clinton's apparent loss of the Democratic presidential nomination:
A lot of tripe is thrown around about gay Republicans in the gay media, and has been for over a decade. But not enough has been written about the toxic impact that Clintonism has wrought on the gay community and its political leadership. The cravenness of it, the poisonous combination of raising hopes with glistening promises, and dashing them at the first sign of political risk -- all the while shifting the blame to others -- has done more to destroy what was once a potentially powerful movement than anything a small band of hapless, closeted gay Republicans on Capitol Hill (now "cleansed" for the most part) could ever have done...

[Clinton's defeat] Whether you realize it or not, [is] good for you. Embrace it. And get back to work in making your party something other than a gigantic waste of money, hope and effort.
If what the Clintons did to the black community during this campaign was any indication, the gay community would have been in for a world of hurt under a Hillary Clinton administration.

Kevin's argument aside, we should remember that despite having Bill Clinton throw us under the bus at the first sign of political turmoil (Melissa Etheridge's words, not mine), the gay community thrived on its own, thank you, despite that. And it had absolutely nothing to do with the Clinton Administration (who, I remind you, put "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in place and who, I remind you, signed the Defense of Marriage Act). Yes, he was an excellent president on most matters and, had it been an option, a third term would have benefited the nation more than the presidency of George W. Bush. (I certainly would have voted for him despite the political expediency; and, yes, for Hillary this year had she been the nominee.) But let's get one thing...uhhh..."straight" - the huge strides the gay community made in the 1990s happened for one reason and one reason only: The gays themselves made them happen.

Picture of the Day

Time Magazine calls it...

McCain's Pastor Problems



Big State, Small State; Red State, Blue State

Quote of the Day:
Because for too long we have let places like West Virginia slip out of the Democratic column and you know it is a fact that no Democratic president has ever won the White House since 1916 without winning West Virginia.
-Sen. Hillary Clinton this week in West Virginia, where she is expected to win a big victory next week.

So the small states matter now, do they Senator?

08 May 2008

There She Goes Again

I wanted to believe she would finish out the race with a bit of class and some long-absent grace. I refused to listen to that little voice in the back of my head that was trying its best to tell me not to trust her.

Alas, I should have.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, yesterday to USA Today:
I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on...Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.
Can you say "race-baiting?" How about "Dixie-crat!?" Good God! The Clinton team never ceases to amaze me. Now before my Clinton supporter friends start piling on, think about this: Had another Democrat said this, or had a Republican said it, the comment would have been enough to kill their campaign. Why oh why is Clinton held to a different standard?

The issue of race has become an obsession with the Clintons in this campaign and it has ruined their reputation with the African-American community to the point where it will most likely never be repaired. Bill Clinton was once called the honorary first black president. His support in that community was essential to both of his election victories and to the success of his presidency. He was wildly popular among African-American voters and they were his most loyal demographic during his years in the White House.

And so, after Clinton's campaign surrogates used racist tactics in an attempt to beat back a challenge from her African-American opponent, after her husband (the honorary "first black president") went into white middle-class neighborhoods to throw his most loyal followers under the proverbial bus...well...it was oh-so-fucking-sweet to see African-American voters head to their polling places in droves this past Tuesday and hand both Bill and Hillary Clinton their asses on a platter.

In my eyes, the complete and total abandonment of the Clintons by their strongest supporters from the 1990s is the most fitting of final chapters to such a vile, Bush-esque campaign.

So Long, Jason

I was watching election returns come in from Indiana and North Carolina on Tuesday night and as a result did not see "American Idol." (Quite frankly, the show is getting super stale. Yeah, yeah...so is this presidential nominating election!)

Anyway, Jason Castro was voted off the show this week. And looking at this performance it's easy to see why...

Where Things Went Sour In Iraq

Rep. Paul Broun (Republican-GA) has surveyed the situation in Iraq, monitored the President's failed policies there, investigated the reason behind the increase in American casualties, and has concluded that the #1 reason things have gone sour in Iraq is...porn.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Corrections

A couple of corrections to items posted in the last couple of days:

1. Reports that Gen. Wes Clark phoned Sen. Hillary Clinton to talk to her about dropping out of the race were false. According to a Clark spokesperson, the call did not take place.

2. After landing in D.C. Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, Sen. Clinton heard the talk on TV was that her campaign was over. While that may the case, Clinton decided to reschedule campaign events for Wednesday. It was reported late Tuesday that she canceled all events save a fundraiser.

07 May 2008

Clinton's Financial Straits

MSNBC is reporting this morning that Hillary Clinton loaned her campaign an additional $6.4 million last month.

And after last night's lackluster performance in the Indiana and North Carolina primaries, I'm sure donations are drying up fast.

Out of Touch

Now that the fat lady has sung and we know that Barack Obama will be the Democratic nominee for president, let the fall campaign begin. The main argument the party should pound home to Americans in all 50 states? John McCain is about as out of touch as you can get...

Unification

According to John Cole, this is what it's going to look like when we Obama folks kiss and make up with our brothers and sisters at Camp Clinton:

Clark Calls Clinton

Quote of the Morning:
General Wesley Clark, a strong Clinton supporter and fellow Arkansan, called Hillary tonight to tell her it's over.

We like General Clark here at AMERICAblog, and have a bit of a history with him. So we hope what we're hearing is true. But the general better watch it - this could be his most dangerous mission to date. When you take on the Clintons, the sniper fire is real.
-Joe Sudbay at AMERICAblog, reporting on Clark's "come to Jesus" talk with Sen. Clinton last night.

Following his own run for the Democratic presidential nomination four years ago, Clark still has a very passionate following. His loyalty to the Clintons is beyond reproach. One would hope that they would take his advice to heart. But I have a hunch they'll keep going. And Sudbay is right...Clark better duck!

One thing is for sure though...today is going to be quite uncomfortable around Clinton campaign headquarters.

It's Over

Following last night's rout in North Carolina (Obama won by 14 points, or over 230,000 votes) and the turning of a potential rout to a whisker-thin win in Indiana (Clinton eked out an anemic 22,000 vote win out of over 1,250,000 ballots cast), the writing is on the wall, the fat lady has sung, stick a fork in her she's done.

Barack Obama will be the Democratic Party's nominee for President of the United States.

He now leads Sen. Clinton in the national popular vote by 711,777 votes, a margin she will not be able to overcome. If you add the rule-breaking votes in Florida and Michigan, she still trails Sen. Obama. And I bet that following last night's powerhouse performance, we will probably see super-delegates fall in line with Obama's candidacy.

Even Tim-MEH agrees with the new conventional wisdom:


So we have three questions: Will she bow out gracefully? Or will she continue to fight in hopes of stealing the nomination from Obama at the convention in Denver? Or will she simply get through the remaining primaries, aware that the nomination is not hers, but hoping to go out with her head held high?

We'll see. She's gonna do what she's gonna do. For the rest of us it's time for the general election campaign to begin. Obama vs. McCain, baby! And I like our chances. I like them very much!

06 May 2008

Just Before 10pm PT

A late update: Clinton's lead in Indiana has now shrunk to just over 16,000 votes with 95% of the statewide vote counted. I still think she'll win, but the outstanding vote totals are in Lake County...so who knows. I have a hunch a final call won't be made until tomorrow sometime.

A telling sign of how tonight's results have affected the Clinton campaign: She has canceled all public appearances scheduled for tomorrow (save a fundraiser in the evening).

Another sign: With Obama's 15-point blow out in North Carolina and with Indiana a question mark, the talking heads on TV seem to be in agreement. The Democratic nominee for president is Barack Obama.

Update: NBC is declaring Clinton the "apparent winner" in Indiana. I've never heard that phrase before. It's almost like the number crunchers at Rockefeller Plaza just wanted to go home. That said, I'm sure the final result will show Clinton winning by a point or two.

But the night belongs to Obama. He now leads in the national popular vote - and even if you add Florida and Michigan to the mix he holds on to that lead. As for delegates to the convention, Obama came out well ahead of Clinton tonight.

And now...I'm off to bed.

'night 'night!

For Equal Measure...

...Sen. Clinton's speech:

A True Class Act

Tonight's victory speech from Barack Obama: